Here are the facts:
Former Governor Robert McDonnell of Virginia is a criminal. In September of 2014, he was found guilty of 11 counts of corruption related to receiving freebies from a businessman buddy in the form of golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans. His wife was also convicted of numerous charges, including obstruction of justice. It was a crushing verdict, made more painful by the fact that McDonnell had previously been offered a deal to plead guilty to just one count of lying on a loam document, and have all other charges against him, and all charges against his wife, dropped. The couple took the case to court, and lost. The Governor was sentenced to 2 years in prison, subject to appeal.
Former Governor Robert McDonnell of Virginia remains a criminal. In July of 2015, a federal court of appeals upheld the guilty verdict. McDonnell had argued before the appeals court that though he accepted numerous gifts, they did not constitute “quid pro quo” for “official acts” as Governor. The appeals court panel didn’t buy it, unanimously agreeing that, “McDonnell received a fair trial and was duly convicted by a jury of his fellow Virginians; McDonnell failed to sustain his heavy burden of showing that the evidence against him was inadequate.”
Former Governor Robert McDonnell of Virginia is not in jail. Following his loss in appeals court, his legal team began preparing an appeal to the Supreme Court, which meant that, in the meantime he would not have to begin his incarceration.
Here is a legal argument:
On January 15, 2016, McDonnell’s appeal arrived at the Supreme Court. His legal team has argued that McDonnell’s acceptance of over $175,000 in gifts from one of his constituents is so “commonplace” that it does not indicate an attempt by the constituent to influence the Governor’s actions. The argument goes on to state that, if McDonnell’s guilty verdict is not reversed, criminalizing such “routine courtesies” of gifting would “radically reshape politics in this nation.” Moreover, it would arm federal prosecutors with “a frightening degree of control over the political process.”
Here is part two of that legal argument:
The Supreme Court read McDonnell’s appeal, and agreed it was worthy, at least, of their consideration. The appeal has been put on the Supreme Court’s to-do list, and the judges will deliberate on the appeal in April.
And now, here is one man’s personal opinion:
No, I’d better not. Stay tuned.